Malaysia’s Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020

Need inspiration on which career path should you pursue in the future? Take a peek at Malaysia’s most in-demand jobs for 2020.

Updated 18 May 2022

Malaysia’s Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020 - Feature-Image

In today’s competitive workforce with tens of thousands of graduates entering the job market each year, knowing which jobs are hot and which are not can be instrumental to jumpstart your college planning process.

So before you pull the trigger on which course to study, here is a list of Malaysia’s most sought-after jobs in 2020 based on the annual Critical Occupations List 2019/2020 by TalentCorp Malaysia and the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA). 

#1. Engineering

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Engineering02

If you already have engineering in mind, stick to it! 

Data from TalentCorp shows that engineers from all fields are in demand, particularly by the manufacturing, construction, and scientific and technical sectors. Some of the top hard-to-fill jobs include project engineers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers and industrial and production engineers

Engineering will also put you in good stead as the nation heads towards Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0). With advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation, you could be at the forefront as new engineering jobs emerge, such as automation engineer, robotics engineer and AI engineer.

In-demand jobs: Civil engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, electronic engineer, project engineer, telecommunications engineer, industrial and production engineer

#2. Computer Science

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Computer Science

You can count on this digital era for the increasing demand of highly-skilled programmers to solve computing problems. And with the complexity of big data, there is a burst of concern about protecting it.

The Association of Banks Malaysia (ABM) has reported that professionals in cybersecurity are urgently in need to combat belligerent financial crimes. To boot, a variety of industries such as insurance, finance, pharmaceutical and manufacturing also require IT specialists to boost their digital capabilities.

While most companies merely require candidates to possess a Degree in Computer Science, IT or Software Engineering, some demand professional certifications in specific fields. 

In demand jobs: Systems analyst, software developer, applications programmer, database engineer, network engineer, cybersecurity executive, systems administrator

#3. Business

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Business

Despite the many graduates out there, the study of business is still relevant due to the breadth of the field that encompasses finance, accounting, human resource and marketing. 

For starters, companies are reportedly facing problems hiring sales and marketing managers, especially those with keen product knowledge of the industry, such as in aviation, pharmaceutical and engineering. At the same time, finance managers with the right professional certifications (e.g. ACCA, CFA) are also in demand. 

The top jobs in business aren’t merely limited to these traditional occupations. The Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO) says that e-commerce advisers are becoming increasingly crucial due to a trend in online booking in the travel industry. 

In-demand jobs: Sales and marketing manager, digital marketing executive, finance manager, corporate financial adviser, financial reporting analyst, human resource manager, recruitment manager, account executive, auditor, tax consultant

#4. Agriculture

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Agriculture

Agriculture remains an important sector in the Malaysian economy. Yet, it is reported that fewer candidates are applying for positions in this industry, especially the youths, due to the tough working environment and long training programmes for managerial positions. 

To address this, the Malaysian Agricultural Producers Association (MAPA) has provided a structured training programme to equip junior employees with the necessary skills in a shorter amount of time. This enables candidates to climb the career ladder much faster.

In-demand jobs: Plantation manager, agricultural manager, estate manager.

#5. Actuarial Science

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Actuarial Science

Are you a math whiz? You might want to listen up for this one. Actuarial science graduates are reported to be critically in need in major industries for their skills in statistics and data analysis.

Insurance companies are experiencing a shortage of qualified actuaries while banks are looking for talents who are proficient in niche skills such as data modelling and OLAP (online analytical processing) design. The oil and gas industry is also lacking applicants with sufficient experience in big data and artificial intelligence

In-demand jobs: Data scientist, big data engineer, data mining analyst, pricing actuary, valuation actuary, mathematician

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#6. Chemistry

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Chemistry

There is a widespread shortage of chemists in various industries, specifically in the research and development area.

Malaysian Textile Manufacturers Association highlights that there are insufficient chemists specialising in the textile field. Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Environmental Scan reports pharmaceutical chemists to be in-demand for drug formulation. Moreover, the chemical, petrochemical and oleochemical subsectors are also experiencing a shortage of qualified chemists with the relevant certification. 

In-demand jobs: Chemist (research and development), chemist (rubber), chemist (polymer), chemist (textile), chemist (quality control), chemist (pharmaceutical), sedimentologist

#7. Occupational Safety and Health

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Occupational Safety and Health

This particular occupation is considered to be one of the most important sectors in any field! Even though the task may seem straightforward, it actually requires specialised knowledge and meticulous adherence to technicalities.

Top sectors that are currently in need of occupational health and safety officers are manufacturing, construction and mining and quarrying. One of the key reasons why this job is difficult to fill is due to candidates lacking the required credentials, which is typically the Green Book or Yellow Book certifications. So, do bear this in mind if you plan to pursue this career!

In-demand jobs: Occupational health and safety officer, safety and health officer, waste management competence person

#8. Graphic & Multimedia Design

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Graphic & Multimedia Design

Sectors such as information and communication, advertising and retail are reporting a shortage of graphic designers, design architects, 3D artists and 3D modellers. In addition, some employers are finding it hard to acquire talent who are proficient in specific software such as Autodesk Maya, Substance Painter, Adobe Photoshop and Blender.

Additionally, with a substantial growth in the digital creative content industry (think animation, games and visual effects), there is also a demand for layout artists, animators, video game artists and visual effects artists.

So, if you’ve always had a knack for the creative arts, this is your time to shine!

In-demand jobs: Graphic designer, animator, multimedia designer, layout artist, 2D animator, 3D artist, visual effects artist, UI designer (user interface), UX designer (user experience)

#9. Medicine

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Medicine

If you’re wondering whether becoming a doctor is the right choice due to alarming reports stating that we have an oversupply of doctors, you might want to chew on this before making a decision. 

The report shows that medical specialists, especially paediatricians and physicians skilled in haematology (blood), nephrology (kidney) and respiratory medicine, are highly sought-after. According to the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia, qualified specialists in neurosurgery, neurology and urology are also permanently in demand. At the same time, the National Heart Association of Malaysia cites a shortage of cardiologists due to rising cases of heart diseases. 

But before you sign up for a medical course, bear in mind that you will need a postgraduate qualification and extensive practical experience before you become a specialist. So make sure you’re in it for the long haul!

In-demand jobs: Ophthalmologist, cardiologist, neurologist, obstetrician and gynaecologist, surgeon, paediatrician, podiatrist, radiologist

#10. Logistics & Supply Chain

Malaysias Top In-Demand Jobs for 2020-Logistics Supply Chain

The logistics and supply chain industry is constantly thriving but due to the industry’s long hours and demanding work environment, reports show a shortage of qualified talents with relevant experience. To resolve this, companies are providing attractive benefits to talents who are ready to invest in their career development.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) states that companies are critically seeking potential candidates to fill in managerial positions in logistics and warehouse. According to the Chemical and Petrochemical Environmental Scan, the plastic products sub-industry are specially in critical need of qualified talents to fit roles as supply and warehouse managers. 

In-demand jobs: Logistics manager, warehouse manager, purchasing manager

We hope this compilation on Malaysia’s sought after jobs in 2020 has given you a clearer picture in planning your future career path. Even though the idea of making your fortune sounds tempting, remember that making the most of your passion and interest are vital too!

Need some tips navigating your first job? Here are some common questions fresh grads ask when it comes to the workforce.

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    Nina Fazil

    Nina Fazil

    A work in progress — has been for the past 24 years.